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Burt Prelutsky / Mar. 31, 2012

Emptying the Attic

In this fast-moving world, it is next to impossible to keep track of all the zany stuff that takes place on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. It’s a lot like finding yourself in a movie whose cast combines the Three Stooges with the Four Marx Brothers.

For instance, I often find myself wondering why left-wingers continue to promote communism. I mean, speaking of people named Marx, it would be different if Karl had just recently introduced “Das Kapital” to the world. But that happened way back in 1867. In the intervening 145 years, as we’ve seen his philosophy morph from mere words in a book to one bloody tyranny after another in the real world, how is it that anyone can see what it has led to in Russia, China, Cuba, Cambodia, Venezuela and North Korea, and continue defending it?

In this fast-moving world, it is next to impossible to keep track of all the zany stuff that takes place on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. It’s a lot like finding yourself in a movie whose cast combines the Three Stooges with the Four Marx Brothers.

For instance, I often find myself wondering why left-wingers continue to promote communism. I mean, speaking of people named Marx, it would be different if Karl had just recently introduced “Das Kapital” to the world. But that happened way back in 1867. In the intervening 145 years, as we’ve seen his philosophy morph from mere words in a book to one bloody tyranny after another in the real world, how is it that anyone can see what it has led to in Russia, China, Cuba, Cambodia, Venezuela and North Korea, and continue defending it?

In a related matter, I just learned that in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, there stands a 16-foot statue of Vladimir Lenin. The good news is that during Gay Pride Week, it’s dressed in drag. If you happen to be a left-wing atheist, the bad news is that it is adorned every December with Christmas lights. One can only ponder which of the two decorative motifs would have been the more offensive to the Father of the Russian Revolution.

While watching this year’s Oscar show, it occurred to me that if you were a show business celebrity, 2011 would have been a good year in which to adjourn to the Big Studio in the Sky. Judging by the number of below-the-line technicians acknowledged during the In Memoriam interlude, there were very few major names who took their leave this past year. But once the show ended, I realized that not only had gorgeous Elaine Stewart, who had lit up the screen in “The Bad and the Beautiful” and “Brigadoon,” passed away, but also my old colleague, Harry Morgan, of “The Ox-Bow Incident,” “Dragnet” and, most memorably, “MASH.” I can only assume that somebody at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had fallen asleep at the switch.

Mainly because I have spent the past six years or so hearing dire warnings about Iran’s being a year, a month or a week, away from having a nuclear bomb, I have been forced to come up with an alternate theory. I’m not suggesting that Ahmadinejad and the mullahs shouldn’t join bin Laden and Gaddafi in Hell, but I keep thinking about Leonard Wibberley’s 1955 Cold War satire, “The Mouse That Roared.” Briefly, the book dealt with the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny European monarchy that finds itself in economic straits. In order to rectify that situation, they decide to declare war on the United States and then to quickly surrender, figuring they will receive the sort of financial largesse that Germany received after losing World War II.

Through a strange set of amusing circumstances, they somehow manage to make off with a doomsday device along with its peace-loving inventor. In the end, Grand Fenwick puts the world on notice that they will unleash the mighty Q-bomb if the superpowers don’t come to their senses and quit rattling their atomic sabers.

While lodging his deadly invention in the bowels of Grand Fenwick’s royal castle, Dr. Kokintz discovers the Q-bomb is a dud. He wisely decides to keep that his little secret.

That is what got me thinking about Iran. If it had a nuclear bomb, would they be likely to drop it on Tel Aviv, knowing full well that it would unleash a nuclear holocaust from the United States? I’m not suggesting that the Iranians don’t hate Israel, but the fact remains that those five million Jews are worth their weight in gold to Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the rest of those creepy places in the Middle East. After all, whenever something bad happens, the Arab and Muslim leaders get to blame Israel. Whenever their citizens wonder why they are poor, ill-educated and living no better than their camels, the leaders get to blame the world’s all-time favorite scapegoats, the Jews.

In a way, if Israel didn’t exist, Iran would have had to invent it.

Speaking of inventions, Obama, who despises oil and coal nearly as much as Muslims hate Jews and Christians, has now proposed that $14 million in tax dollars be used to subsidize turning algae into a bio-fuel. He hasn’t explained why if it’s possible to turn pond scum into energy, the private sector can’t be trusted to provide the funds. He has also neglected to explain why they can’t use the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Henry Waxman and Eric Holder, in a pilot project and see if the five of them, after being properly processed, can propel a motorbike down Pennsylvania Avenue.

I only recently discovered that over and above their salary and franking privileges, every senator has an office budget of $3 million. Senator Rand Paul set a good example when he kicked back $500,000, but that still left him spending $2.5 million-a-year on a squad of sycophants. And please keep in mind that senators aren’t paying rent on their palatial office suites. In retrospect, it seems to me that our Founding Fathers went off half-cocked when they revolted over something as benign as taxation without representation.

Finally, after months of hearing people like Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, running as the alternative to Romney, it will be a relief when we can all focus our attention on getting rid of the real alternative to Mitt Romney; namely, Barack Obama.

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